Archive for » December, 2016 «

Friday, December 30th, 2016 | Author:

How many of you men remember the Promise Keepers movement in the 90s and early 2000s? They estimated that they reached five million men over the history of the events. I will never forget attending the Atlanta Clergy Conference: Fan The Flame, in February 1996. 39,024 church leaders attended. It was sheer electricity of the Spirit throughout the meeting. They say that it was the largest meeting of pastors in history!

The founder of PK was Bill McCartney and here are his words concerning the call to start PK.

“Way back before Promise Keepers had a name, we looked up the word integrity in Webster’s Dictionary. He gave six definitions: ‘utter sincerity, honesty, candor, not artificial, not shallow, no empty promises.’

The movement was focused around building men who fit this definition. Promise Keepers was birthed March 20, 1990. It shall forever have a wonderful spot in my memories. I remember attending the meeting at the Colosseum in Los Angeles. To hear a stadium full of manly men singing to the top of their voices, the praises of our God and King was etched into my very soul. Here was the theme song of the PK movement.

Rise Up, O Men Of God!

1. Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
to serve the King of kings.

2. Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
and end the night of wrong.

3. Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
her strength unequal to her task;
rise up, and make her great!

4. Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where his feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
rise up, O men of God!

Oh how we need another move of God among the men of the United States. PK is still alive but has not done the kind of meetings it did during its greatest days. I had the privilege of speaking with the Co-founder of PK just before the Los Angeles meeting. I told him that I sensed a loss of momentum and felt that the key to keeping it going was that the second part of the movement was missing. He asked me what that was and I said, “Discipleship!” You know what he said? He whole heartedly agreed with me. He had said this very thing to Coach McCartney but it fell on deaf ears.

Evangelism without discipleship is like having a baby but not caring for it properly when you bring it home. Some sick experiments were done years ago, I believe during WWII in Germany, where babies were used. Some received the proper love and nurture they needed while others were never held but fed. Many of the babies in the last group actually died, while those who were nurtured thrived.

I use this illustration to say that this is the church’s NUMBER ONE problem today. Men, women and children are brought to be born again but then just challenged to attend worship and help out as needed, but never discipled.

If you take a boiling hot cup of water and place it in a room, it will soon adjust to room temperature. It loses its heat. This is what happens to Christians who are not discipled. They just settle in to ROOM TEMPERATURE, i.e. like everyone else in the church.

I think that there are two maximum oxymorons: 1. Dead church and 2. NO LORD! How can the body of Christ be DEAD? Something is deadly wrong when a church loses its passions for reaching lost souls in the world and equipping them to reach others. The last one is the worst of all. NO LORD! How can we call Him Lord if we refuse to OBEY His command and directions?

“And why do you call Me, Lord, Lord and do not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:46

Well, this is it on this next to last day of 2016. I hope you think long and hard about what you have read. May 2017 be the beginning of personal and corporate revival and spiritual awakening worldwide. The whole world lies in spiritual darkness and is Hell bound unless the church makes up its mind to live biblically!

May the LORD make 2017 your greatest year yet as you choose daily to walk in His will. Get into the Word on a daily basis. You can actually read through the ENTIRE Bible twice in a bit over one year by just reading three chapters a day. There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. Divide this by 365 and you end up with 3.257 chapters per day. My last word is, Go For It!

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Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 | Author:

“In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,

‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.’

And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said,

‘Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
and I live among a people of unclean lips;
for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me! ” (emphasis added) Isaiah 6:1-8 NASB

Forty-two years ago, this month, the LORD saved me from my sin and called me to preach and teach His holy Word. I had the honor of doing so for thirty years in California. I have continued to walk with the LORD since then in my disability here in Texas.

When we hear His call on our lives the most important thing in the world is to respond as Isaiah did, “Here am I. Send me!” I would not trade a day of my life for all the riches of the world. The churches I served and especially the church that the LORD led me to plant, Olive Branch Community Church, have enriched my life immeasurably. I have come to know so many wonderful people over the years and count them all as my treasured friends and family.

If you hear His voice calling you, reply as Isaiah did, “Send me!” Your life will take on meaning and purpose that you could never have imagined.

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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 | Author:

“Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; and (literally) panting to its place it rises there again.” (emphasis added) Ecclesiastes 1:5 NASB

Have you ever thought about just how fast our planet is moving through space? Let me give you some figures that might just blow your mind.

The earth’s circumference is 24,901 miles. In order to completely rotate in just under 24 hours, this means that the earth is rotating at 1,040 miles per hour. It orbits the sun once a year at the rate of 67,000 miles per hour. Our solar system rotates around the galaxy at 490,000 miles per hour. It is estimated that this rotation would take 225 million years. One light year is 5.8 trillion miles. Our sun is estimated to be 26,000 light years from the center of our Milky Way galaxy. No one has ever been able to photograph our galaxy so all we see in NASA pictures are computer generated estimates of what it must look like.

Just think, the Moon is 238,900 miles from earth, so in perspective, for us to go to the moon is equivalent to a trip down town compared to the incredible size of the galaxy. Just think, there are days when there is barely a breeze.

Now, HOW ON EARTH did a so-called explosion, big bang, create such an amazing galaxy, let alone an estimated 100 to 200 billion other galaxies.

“God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.” Genesis 1:16 NASB

Note this verse adds the stars almost as a footnote. Just think, there is an estimated 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone, this number could go far beyond this number if we could ever know the facts. Now, multiply this number times 100 to 200 billion other galaxies and you begin to see the staggering number of potential stars alone. Now, how can a hydrogen explosion create this kind of mass? IT CANNOT! GOD DID! This is a massive hoax!

So, could this awesome GOD create one unusual star that guided the wise men to the house where Jesus was living? No doubt about it!

Merry Christmas to all my dear friends and family as we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, or to our Hebrew brethren, Yeshua HaMashiach.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 | Author:

Just a quick observation … As a pastor for many years and now as a member of a congregation, I have seen an automatic drop in attendance when it is cold or rainey etc. It strikes me that to stay home under these conditions is saying that God takes a second place to work, sporting events and other things. You protest? Consider what this says to God. Do we skip going to work or our kids’ game or a college or professional sports event or an outing with friends because of the weather? Then why is it so easy to stay home on days to worship our Creator, Sustainer, Provider etc. etc. etc.?

Don’t we realize what we are saying to the God who gave His Son, who gave His life to save us from the Lake of Fire? NO ONE has come close to giving us something even close to this. So is it just that we don’t stop to consider this that we make this choice?

I am not writing this to shame anyone but to remind you about this important situation. Let’s all put God at the top of our priorities and He will make all the rest fall into place. The Word says, “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 NASB

May you have the greatest time of your life this Christmas worshipping our God and Savior and then spending time doing other things to enjoy.

Merry Christmas to all my dear friends, and Happy Hanukkah to my Messiah loving Jewish friends and may The LORD grant you the best new year of your life in 2017.

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Monday, December 19th, 2016 | Author:

“This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats ad wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’ ” Proverbs 30:20 NASB

Our world is filled with men and women committing sexual sins and have tried to convince themselves that it is O.K. Many justify homosexual marriage by saying, “How can love be wrong?” It is wrong because our Creator says that it is wrong and in the end, it will cost them eternal life in heaven. Hell is real and it will last for all eternity. Is this cheap sin worth your losing out on eternal life in heaven? God still holds out opportunity for repentance, that is forsaking your sin and turning to Him for eternal life. It is free you know! But it cost Jesus Christ the highest price that can be paid. He died for you because He loves you but He will also be your judge on Judgment Day.

Christians do not hate those who commit sexual sins, yet we get accused of this all the time if we voice our positions. Christians love all people but cannot stand by and see them headed for eternal torment in Hell and do nothing about it. It would be like knowing that a bridge is out over the river and just letting drivers go ahead to their deaths as they plunge into the river and drown.

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Monday, December 19th, 2016 | Author:

“He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 NASB

For folks who thumb their noses at the truth of the Word of God fit this profile. They don’t realize that their prayers get no higher than the ceiling. Sad!

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Sunday, December 18th, 2016 | Author:

“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (emphasis added) James 1:19-22 NASB

Wise words for a world swimming in a quagmire of sin and evil. The word of God warns us over and over of the consequences of our sins and lifestyle choices. For those of us who lived in the 50s, how does the world look to you compared to those days? It amazes me to see how many people are enslaved by sexual passions and alcoholism. Some folks seem to live just so they can experiment with new forms of sexual perversion. I can’t for, the life of me, understand the fascination that far too many professing Christians have for alcohol. When I look at Facebook posts and see far too many pictures featuring bar scenes or alcohol in their hands and I feel grief. Why do you HAVE TO drink alcohol? I have been a tee totaler for forty-two years now and I have had no desire to touch this stuff.

Like the last verse here, prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers, lays out the choices here. Far too many people have been lulled into carnality by compromising preachers and teachers. It is time to speak the truth in love, pastors! Many of you do, but for those who are following some of the so-called famous preachers of our day, let me remind you of what the word of God says to those who preach sermonettes to your congregations.

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Jesus Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (emphasis added) 2 Timothy 4:1-5 NASB

There is nothing here that tells preachers and teachers to pick and choose soft passages of Scripture.

Do the work of an evangelist… this means preaching and teaching evangelistic sermons, ie telling of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and teaching Bible studies so that people will be saved from their sins. Some of the so-called famous preachers of today will tell you to avoid certain topics in preaching since it might OFFEND your congregation. This OFFENSE is called CONVICTION. In other words, when a preacher or teacher teaches the whole word of God there will be times when members of the congregation feel conviction of sins that they personally have in their lives and this conviction, according to the word of God, will urge them to repentance and avoiding them in the future so as to live a life of obedience to God.

There are many other passages that I could refer to that deal with the responsibility of teaching and preaching the word of God, but this is getting too long for many to take the time to read already. So I will just say, get deep into the word of God and God will change your life forever and fill you with joy beyond belief.

Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 17th, 2016 | Author:

“The prudent (wise) sees evil and hides himself, but the naive (simple) go on, and are punished for it.” Proverbs 22:3 NASB

Doesn’t this make perfect sense? A person of wisdom sees trouble and makes plans to avoid it at all cost, while the simple-minded makes no changes to their lifestyle and pay a huge price for it later on.

Wisdom versus simple-minded: which one are you? It could prevent a lot of heartache in the future.

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Friday, December 09th, 2016 | Author:

“Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150 NASB

Praise the LORD!!!!!

Just think for a moment of how many things we have to praise the LORD for in our own lives and, as the old hymn says, “Count them one by one, and it will surprise you what the LORD has done.”

Happy December 9th

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Saturday, December 03rd, 2016 | Author:

“I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the LORD more than the watchman for the morning; indeed more than the watchman for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:5-8 NASB

This also includes us today who have made Jesus our Lord and Savior.

The word Selah, that we find in the Psalms, is best translated as a musical pause. This pause says, in essence, stop and think about what you just read, or for the Jews who sang this, pause to ponder what you just sang.

The imagery here is powerful. For you who have worked the night shift, waiting for the sunrise means that you can go home and get some rest. Waiting for the LORD is MORE than waiting for the sunrise. With Him is lovingkindness and abundant redemption for all who have loved His appearing. He never disappoints those who wait for Him. He speaks to our hearts through His word and the glorious Holy Spirit who dwells in every believer. Being in fellowship with Him is essential to hearing from Him. 1 John 1:9 says,

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I have long advised believers to keep short accounts with God, in other words, when we blow it take that moment right then to name that sin to Him and ask His gracious forgiveness. The shed blood of Jesus continues to forgive us of our sins.

Man, do we have a wonderful Savior! Just think about it. We confess it and He wipes it out for eternity.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sin from us.” Psalm 103:12 NASB

That is not in a circle but straight to the right and to the left. He also says,

“He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19 NASB

So you see, He longs to be gracious to all who call upon His name. Wow, that is such great news!

(emphasis added)

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